Sunday, 10 May 2015

I Make Lists


1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Recommended to me by my grandad, this was the first 'classic' literature I ever read, and Austen's wit taught me a great deal about irony and subtlety in novels - particularly the opening paragraph, which I have had memorised since I was ten.  Despite my copy being well thumbed and the BBC adaptation watched many times, I think it will always be my favourite story. 
"She had a lively, playful disposition, that delighted in anything ridiculous" 

2. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
TFIOS may seem like a staple on a list of a teenage girl's favourite books, however, it's not only Green's beautiful narrative that caused it to make mine. I read this book at a time when my enjoyment of life had been sucked out of me, including my enjoyment of reading. Reading, and finishing, TFIOS gave me hope and, for that, I will forever think fondly of this book. 
"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

3. Looking for Alaska - John Green
Another magnificent work from John Green, coming a very close second to TFIOS. Don't be deterred by the thirteen-year-old-fangirl hype around young adult novels, LFA is well worth reading. Every page is quote-worthy.
"So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

4. Atonement - Ian McEwan
McEwan is a favourite author of mine, with Atonement being the best of his work I have read so far. With multiple narratives and the book being split into two halves, there is much to follow and the reader is able to view the situation (the key event of the fountain undressing) from different angles and cringe for naive Briony's mistake. A good film, an even better book. 
"How guilt refined the methods of self-torture, threading the beads of detail into an eternal loop, a rosary to be fingered for a lifetime."

5. About a Boy - Nick Hornby
I saw the film first (mainly because I have a thing for middle aged men with posh British accents and Hugh Grant falls definitely under that category) and read the book a few years later. A lovely story about grasping life. 
"It happens, and I wish it didn't, but that's life, isn't it?"

6. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
I usually enjoy books far less when I'm obligated to read them. So it's quite unusual that this novel makes the list since it was part of my A Level Literature reading list. A brilliant dysoptian - a favourite genre of mine - centring around Offred's struggle to maintain her identity in a class-driven, patriarchal world where she is known only as a reproductive vessel.
"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards grind you down."

7. It's a Kind of Funny Story - Ned Vizzini 
Another young adult fiction novel, who's storyline follows 16 year old Craig's admittance into a psychiatric ward, after a suicide attempt. The novel is given more poignancy to me since Vizzini's own suicide just a few years ago. Despite the heavy subject matter, Craig's journey is humorous and uplifting - definitely a worthwhile read. 
"People are screwed up in this world. I'd rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode."


1. Twin Atantic 
Sparkly Touch, Oceans, Crash Land, A Guidance From Colour, The Ones That I Love 
"I'm obsessed with the feeling that I want to fly with you"

2. Lower Than Atlantis
Criminal, Here We Go, Words Don't Come So Easily, Go On Strike, Love Someone Else, Another Sad Song
"Don't cry, we all make mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, for me, being me, was mine." 

3. Mayday Parade
Terrible Things, Miserable At Best, Walk On Water Or Drown, Kids in Love, Stay, Three Cheers for Five Years 
"Don't fall in love, there's just too much to lose, if you're given the choice then I beg you to choose, to walk away."

4. Ben Howard
Diamonds, Keep Your Head Up, Black Flies, Conrad, I Forget Where We Were, Bones
"Maybe you were the ocean, when I was just a stone."

5. Bon Iver
The Wolves, Skinny Love, re:stacks, Holocene, I Can't Make You Love Me
"And at once I knew I was not magnificent."

6. Go Radio
Goodnight Moon, Go To Hell, I Won't Lie, Any Other Heart, Thanks For Nothing
"Our hearts are heavy burdens, we shouldn't have to bear alone."

(I own no rights to these images - all rights belong to the owners bla bla)

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